Brewing Success: The Ultimate Business Plan for Your Craft Brewery Adventure

Business Plan for Your Craft Brewery

Craft brewers are on the rise. While not every beer enthusiast has abandoned their favorite nationally distributed domestic, many prefer the distinct flavors of small-batch beers. Many people start a brewery as a hobby, but it has the potential to become a profitable and low-risk bar or restaurant model. 

Starting a brewery demands a plan, whether you want an open-air beer garden, an industrial facility with cans piled as high as the eye can see, or just a modest restaurant space with a vast back area with brewery equipment hard at work.

Starting a restaurant business plan, like any other writing endeavor, can be frightening, but working with a defined structure for your brewery business plan will help to guide every step of your company. With a clear business strategy to guide operations, your brewery will run more smoothly from inception to distribution.

What Is a Business Plan for a Brewery?

The business plan provides a snapshot of the brewery’s or small brewery’s current position and details intentions for growth over the following five years. It can explain your company’s aims and tactics for achieving them. Of course, market research is included to support business plans.

Why Is A Brewery Business Plan Necessary For Your Brewery?

Growth is a thrilling experience for any business owner. However, talking about the sorrow of growing up will cause you to have long days and sleepless nights. Having a sound business plan for your brewery from the start allows you to design a sensible growth strategy for your crew. Although this is an excellent tool for ensuring that you meet your objectives, your business plan must demonstrate to your staff and possible investors the brewery’s profitability and success.

  • Do you intend to stay in one location to grow your business, or do you intend to open other breweries in the next few years?
  • Consider the amount of employees you have now and the number you plan to hire after you meet your sales targets.
  • Do you want to sell beer solely at your location, or do you want to sell it in trendy grocery stores and restaurants?

Set realistic goals for your brewery and a timeline for achieving these goals. As you attempt to meet your quarterly targets, this information will assist you in determining further visibility into the future in order to construct the ideal roadmap for success.


Whether you intend to expand production within existing space or invest in new sites, the financial viability of these initiatives will be determined by the amount of revenue generated in the coming years. If sales do not meet the objective, you can choose to prolong the time frame for growth. Of course, you can also seek extra finance sources to assist you in developing a brewery. With a solid business plan, you’ll have the tools you need to convince the loan source that your craft beer business is a safe option.

Business Decision

Owning a brewery is a terrific way to get some exercise, but it does not mean that it is a simple chore. Sometimes critical decisions must be made swiftly in the long-term running of a brewery. You should invest time building a business plan for your brewery and updating it on a regular basis so that you can always stay on top of operations and goal monitoring. You will be able to make informed decisions that benefit the brewery project since you have a full understanding of all facets of the brewery company.

Loan from a Bank

When you ask for a bank loan, the bank will look over your business plan to see if you can return the loan and interest. To achieve this trust, the loan officer must not only confirm your financial status but also analyze a professional business plan. A comprehensive and professional business plan can persuade them that you can operate the company successfully and professionally.

What Should Your Brewery Business Plan Include?

When creating a brewery business plan, some aspects should always be included. Although there are several general business plan templates that you may use, your company plan is tailored to your own circumstances, which means you must modify your goals accordingly. Consider integrating the following components in your brewing business:

1. Executive Summary

An executive summary provides a high-level overview of the brewery’s history, mission, personnel, location, growth plans, and financial goals. Although the executive summary is at the beginning of the business plan, it is frequently the last written section because it includes a summary of every significant component of your plan.

The executive summary’s purpose is to rapidly entice readers by asking them to explain the type and status of your brewing firm. For example, are you a new business? Do you wish to expand your artisan brewery? Or do you own a beer franchise?

Following that, you must outline each succeeding section of your plan. A quick review of the craft beer sector, for example; a detailed explanation of your main competitors; an outline of your target clients; present a glimpse of your marketing strategy and plan; identify key members of the team; provide an overview of your financial plan.

How can you construct an executive summary for your brewery?

Provide a precise and high-level summary of each section of your business strategy. The information and data you give in this section should immediately pique the interest of potential investors and lenders.

Also, restrict the executive summary to no more than two pages in total: it’s meant to be a summary for investors and lenders who don’t have time to wade through 40-50 pages, so keep it short and to the point.

The executive summary is often divided into five primary sections, which are as follows:

Business overview: This section will provide a high-level overview of your company and the products you will sell. Mention the type of brewery you plan to open (for example, microbrewery, brewpub, taproom brewery, regional brewery, contract brewing company, and so on). Also, briefly describe your products and services (for example, if you have a sit-down taproom) as well as your pricing plan.

Market analysis: Summarize the market in which you will operate and provide information on the target audience, market size, rivals, and so on. There is no need to include granular data here; reserve it for the Market Overview section (or the appendix) later on. To keep potential investors and/or lenders interested, you must supply just scannable data points.

People: Introduce your brewery’s management and employee structure. Provide a brief (no more than a couple of sentences each) of the knowledge and experience of the team. Also, speak about your hiring plans.

Financial projections: How much profit and revenue do you anticipate in the next five years? When will you reach your break-even threshold and begin to profit? You can insert a chart here that shows your major financial figures like revenue, gross profit, and net profit.

Funding ask: What kind of loan/investment/grant are you looking for? How much do you require? How long can this go on?

2. Overview of the Brewery Business

This is the section where you will describe your brewery and the business plan you have chosen. You must answer several critical questions that lenders and/or investors frequently ask. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the questions you’ll need to answer:

  • What is the brewery’s location, and why did you choose it?
  • What factors influenced your decision to create a brewery?
  • What beer items will you be selling? Are there any other drinks or services available?
  • What is your pricing plan, and why will you use it?
  • What is your intended audience?
  • How many guests can you serve at once (if you choose alternatives such as taproom brewery or brewpub)?
  • What will your company’s legal structure be?

a) Project History

Any company must have two components:

  • The business owner’s passion 
  • Experience Rationale for beginning this type of business today

Passion & experience

You may or may not have prior experience. If you have experience, speak about it and how it will help you to run your business. For instance, you may have been a brewmaster in a popular brewery for 12 years, and now you want to start your own brewery and use your knowledge to run it more efficiently.

However, if you don’t already have experience, that’s fine. You must demonstrate your passion and some industry knowledge that you have acquired through intensive research.


Is there a specific problem (or group of problems) that your brewery will attempt to solve when it first opens its doors? For example, there may be no brewpubs in the neighborhood, and you want to take advantage of the chance. 

However, you must recognize that the market must be appropriate for the firm. For example, if the location’s target clientele prefers a taproom brewery, offering a brewpub instead may be a bad idea.

b) Business Plan

Your business concept will be explained in this section of the Business Overview. Briefly describe the following points:

  • Will you purchase an existing brewery and remodel it, or will you build a new brewery from the ground up?
  • What kind of brewery do you want to open and why?
  • Equipment, inventory, and storage facilities required for the brewery to function successfully

The type of brewery you want to start will be determined by its market size, target demographic, business expansion ambitions, and so on. For example, if you want to sell your products outside of your state, you should consider partnering with a regional brewery or a contract brewing company.

c) Products and services

You will undoubtedly sell beer if you decide to open a brewery. You may, however, choose to make alternative flavors. Furthermore, if you want to start a brewery, you may also run a full-service restaurant and serve meals to your clients.

Depending on the type of brewery you intend to open, you must include all of the items and services you intend to sell. Mention the relevant items if you are selling packaged snacks (taproom brewery) or if you wish to have a full-service kitchen (brewpub).

d) Pricing Strategy

You must discuss your pricing plan in this section. The price of the beer will be determined by the product and the intricacy of its manufacturing. Pricing is also determined by raw materials and the size of your firm.

If you’re developing a premium line of products with a higher price tag, be sure there’s a good reason for it. 

If you have a short menu, it is a good idea to add a pricing chart for all conceivable products. However, if you have a large product line, present a sample menu with pricing information.

3. Overview of the Brewery Market

A thorough awareness of the market in which you wish to operate is critical to the success of your company.

A specialty taproom brewery, for example, could be a successful business if you want to operate your brewery in an affluent neighborhood where people are willing to spend more for a unique craft beer.

As a result, you must address 3 critical elements here:

  • Brewery Industry Size: What is the size of the brewery industry in your area? What is its pace of growth (or decline), and what causes contribute to its growth or decline?
  • Overview of the competition: how many competitors are there? How do they stack up against your company? How can you set yourself apart from them?
  • Customer research: who is your target market? What kinds of breweries do they like? How often do they go to breweries? Do they like to eat in a brewery, and, if so, do they favor brewpubs or taproom breweries? What is the average amount they spend?

4. Publicity and marketing

Marketing a brewery entails more than simply eye-catching label designs, and potential investors and partners will want to know that you’ve considered how you’ll get customers to try your beers and keep them loyal to your brand. Social media is vital, but email marketing can be transformative.

Create a consistent vision for your brand that both reflects the essence of your company’s principles and is appealing to the client base in your market. Make plans to use social media to raise brand awareness and to create a unified and memorable content strategy.

5. Branded Graphics

Working with designers to produce graphics that represent your brand’s concept to potential investors and will become the cornerstone of your brand for customers is one of the most exciting components of planning to promote your brewery. Consider how your logo will represent your brewery’s ethos and how it will influence the customer’s experience of your brand.

Even if you intend to expand to regional or national distribution, don’t be afraid to brand for the local client, since they will most likely be your first and most devoted customer base. Plus, beer enthusiasts all throughout the country will want to collect your cans, especially if they clearly show where the beer is brewed.

6. Business Operations

The business operations portions cover everything from the brewery’s daily routine and client experience objectives to the chain of command and management structure. Consider including sales and inventory information, your POS system, bookkeeping, and the supply chain for your beer’s ingredients.

From manufacturing to distribution, a brewery is a complex business model, and adding a tap house or restaurant to your business strategy complicates things even more. The business operations section will serve as the compass for your operations, from daily to quarterly – don’t skimp on the details. This is the section you’ll use to respond to questions from investors or partners.

7. Loans and Financing

Whether you’re starting a brewery because you love fantastic pilsners or because your buddies encouraged you to invest in a local brewery so they could hang out there, you’ll almost certainly need some additional financing. Nonetheless, it is critical to carefully assess your financial situation and be prepared to apply for any necessary lines of credit or loans.

Look through this financing guide to learn about funding options from traditional banks, alternative loans, Small Business Association (SBA) loans, merchant cash advances, business lines of credit, crowdfunding, asking family or friends, commercial real estate loans, equipment financing, and purchase order funding. 

Once you have a firm plan in place to fund your brewery, give potential investors information on other partners as well as precise financial forecasts with profit and expense projections for your business.

8. Forecasted sales and operating expenses

The costs of equipment, water, hops, grains, labor, insurance, licensing, rent, marketing, and so on should all be assessed against sales estimates in this portion of your business plan.

This component of your business plan should often include a break-even analysis, which compares the sales required to break even with the monthly cost of spending. Investors will be interested in the possibility of profit and loss in order to assess the risk of contributing to your business, but a profit and loss statement for a business that isn’t yet open necessitates some educated guesses. 

A cash flow analysis, which details expected spending on labor, supplies, and operations, demonstrates to investors that the company can support itself without extra capital. Consider how your brewery’s specific costs, such beer bottling or kegging equipment, balance at the conclusion of each quarter. 

How to Present Your Business Plan for a Brewery

There are a few things you can do to get ready to talk to investors about your company plan and pique their interest. As you develop and update your strategy, begin remembering the major elements and takeaways so you can discuss it at any moment. Keep in mind that the way you talk about your business should be adapted to the situation.

First, send your business plan to as many investors and banks as possible – get your concept and proposal in front of as many people as possible. 

Once you’ve secured a meeting with a possible investor or partner, you’ll want a more extensive presentation that includes all of the essential parts of your business plan – in the case of a brewery, that will most likely include the experiences at the heart of your business.

It’s a good idea to anticipate probable inquiries and have responses ready for those you encounter for the first time. Be honest and sincere when networking, even if you don’t have a solution for every question that comes your way – investors will be interested in your charisma and savvy just as much as your ability to construct a precise plan.